The designer and Instagram must-follow talks us through five of her creative inspirations.

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refuse to update my phone

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If you don’t follow Ava Nirui, perhaps known to you by her Instagram handle @Avanope, you are missing out. Having garnered online fame for her series of bootleg designs (her adapted Champion hoodie was worn by Chance The Rapper himself), her page has become a fascinatingly unique, dryly self-aware and truly aesthetic collection of imagery, featuring everything from these designs, to her work as Helmut Lang’s Marketing & Digital Editor, to her various collaborations with Marc Jacobs. Oh, and there are some iced out Barbie dolls on there too.

Having forged her own lane in the digital fashion space, Nirui now sits essentially unrivalled, a creative guru for the Instagram era, her enviable knack for juggling (and executing) ventures equipping her as the creative to work with. An inspiration to so many, we chatted to Nirui about five things that inspire her.

Paddy’s Markets

Nirui: Paddy’s Markets are two huge marketplaces in Sydney city that I have been going to since I was a kid. They carry all types of trinkets and toys, and a heap of counterfeit sportswear and jewelry arranged in these colorful back-to-back stalls. They have mounds of Mattel toys I would save my allowance to buy, which kind of bred my obsession with Barbies. I also went through a phase when I was around 15-years-old where I would go there weekly to check out the merch stall, which had hundreds bootleg band tees and accessories. This was one of the original sources of inspiration for my replica/bootleg project in 2016.


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1997 boys by @exactitudes

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Nirui: I first learned of them when I was working at Opening Ceremony in 2013, as we carried their photo book. I feel Exactitudes’ research project has helped me understand clothing, trends and subcultures throughout time. The way they photograph and represent communities, and seeing how humans immerse themselves in their individual lifestyles is so informative for someone who works in fashion and marketing. I feel their work transcends “art” and is an in depth visual analysis of society.

Gregg Araki

Nirui: One of my professors when I was in film school recommended I watch Nowhere and Totally Fucked Up after I mentioned I had exhausted every David Lynch movie. I became so obsessed with the way Araki uses colors in his films, and the smart costume design. I feel the look of his characters also really impacted my taste and personal style.


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BLESS № 61 Swimmingtogether #neckchiefer short #pleatbermuda

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Nirui: BLESS clothing and objects bridge art with design, and are humorous in essence. Their objects are infused with comedy and are so visually exciting to look at. I am so inspired by their pragmatism and their unique point of view.

My mom

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mom!! ❤️❤️❤️

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Nirui: My mom is my mentor and her drive and obsession with learning has always been really inspiring to me. She recently completed a PhD, and has worked with homeless women and children in shelters across Sydney, which motivated me to be involved in more charity projects. Her full-time job was in medical research, and she really helped me with my own research and study throughout school, university and work.


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